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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  February 22, 2017 12:00pm-1:01pm PST

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02/22/17 02/22/17 [captioning made possible by democry now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> the president wanted to take the shackles off individuals in these agencies and say, you have a mission. there are laws that need to be followed. you should do your mission and follow the law. amy: millions of undocumented immigrants face potential to rotation is the trump the administration issues sweeping new rules for the department of homeland security while increasing the number of immigration and border agents by 15,000. on the campaign trail, donald trump called for a deportation force. pres. trump: we're going to have a deportation force. >> are they going to pay for it
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yet go pres. trump: they're going back with a came from. if they came back from the country, they will be back. force isrtation becoming a reality yucca we will speak with a lawyer in the first undocumented lawyer in new york. then as dozens of jewish community centers face on threats, president trump has finally spoken out against the anti-semitic attacks after facing public outcry. pres. trump: they just a minute threats targeting our jewish -- anti-semitic threats are horrible. amy: but was trump's message to little to late? that is what the head of the anne frank center in new york says. we will speak with thim. all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!,
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democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. democracynow.org, the war and ho greatly expand the department of homeland security's authority to deport millions of undocumented immigrants and to inease the number of immigration and border patrol agents by 15,000. under the rules issued tuesday, almost any undocumented person in the country could be detained and reported even if they have never -- deported even if they have never committed a crime. in immigrant who cannot prove they have been in the unit states for over two years could be deported without a hearing. the memo calls for the prosecution of parents who seek to reunite their family by using smugglers to bring their children into the country. according to the white house, protections will remain in place for dreamers -- at least for now -- immigrants who came to the u.s. as children and have since received permission to live and
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work in the united states under president obama's deferred action for childhood arrivals program known as daca, although, a dreamer was just arrested last week. the trump administration's crackdown against immigration and immigrants currently living in the u.s. has sparked widespread protest. only hours after the department of homeland security unveiled its deportation plan, activists unfurled a three feet by 20 feet than are at the base of the statue of liberty reading "refugees welcome." last thursday, thousands of immigrants closed their businesses, refused to go to work, and kept their children from school for a day without immigrants protest in san francisco, los angeles, new york, phoenix, chicago, philadelphia, atlanta, detroit, raleigh, austin and other cities. media reports now say as many as 100 immigrants lost their jobs after taking part in the protests, including construction and restaurant workers.
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the owner of jvs masonry in commerce city, colorado, fired 30 bricklayers, even though they had told their boss ahead of time that they planned to skip work to participate in the protests. we will have more on the department of homeland security memos after the headlines full.s president trump has spoken out against anti-semitism after widespread criticism over his failure to condemn the waves of bomb threats against jewish community centers and other attacks against the jewish community since his inauguration. on tuesday, trump called anti-semitism horrible and painful at the end of his tour of the national museum of african american history and culture in washington, d.c. pres. trump: the anti-semitic threats targeting our jewish community and community centers are horrible. and our painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil.
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amy: the comments came as several jewish community centers were temporarily evacuated after monday receiving bomb threats. in total, 69 threats have been reported against 54 jcc's since inauguration. meanwhile, a muslim-led fundraiser has raised more than $50,000 to help repair the jewish cemetery in university city, missouri, where the grave sites of more than 100 jews were vandalized over the weekend. many are calling trump's comments too little, too late. in a statement, the anne frank center for mutual respect said -- "the president's sudden acknowledgement is a band-aid on the cancer of anti-semitism that has infected his own administration." we'll have more on trump's comments with the director of the anne frank center, as well as mark potok of the southern poverty law center, later in the broadcast. in north dakota, lakota water protectors fighting the $3.8 billion dakota access pipeline have avowed to make a treaty
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stand today to resist their forcibly eviction from the main oceti sakowin resistance camp. the u.s. army corps of engineers and the north dakota governor have imposed a noon eviction deadline today for the hundreds of water protectors still living at the resistance camp. the government has warned that after 2:00 state and federal p.m., agents will begin arresting people who remain. water protectors say the resistance camp sits on unceded sioux territory under the 1851 treaty of fort laramie and that they have a right to remain on their ancestral land. these are some of the lakota women at the encampment. >> this is my treaty territory. >> this is my treaty territory. >> this is my treaty territory. >> after the deadline of february 22, 20 17 at 2:00 p.m., we are all at risk of facing arrest, police brutality,
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federal charges, and prison time. amy: across the country, republican lawmakers were confronted by thousands of angry constituents at town hall meetings and events tuesday, as voters demanding the republicans take action to challenge president trump. iowa republican senators chuck grassley and joni erns, florida congressman dennis ross, tennessee republican congresswoman marsha blackburn, and senate majority leader mitch mcconnell were all confronted by voters frustrated by trump's policies on immigration, education and jobs his refusal , to release his tax returns, his inclusion of white nationalists in his administration, among other issues. some voters asked whether the lawmakers would support trump's impeachment. this is one woman challenging senate majity leader mitch mcconnell during a luncheon -- town hall meeting on tuesday. >> the last i heard, these coal jobs are not coming back and now these people don't have the interest a need because they are poor and they work those coal mines and they are sick.
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they're not getting what they need. will answer any of that, i will sit down and listen like elizabeth warren. amy: she was referencing elizabeth warren during a debate over the confirmation of jeff sessions. in response to the wave of resistance against republican lawmakers, president trump tweeted -- "the so-called angry crowds in home districts of some republicans are actually, in numerous cases, planned out by liberal activists. sad!" cia analyst and national security council spokesman edward price has resigned over his opposition to president trump. in an article published in the "washington post" headlined "i didn't think i'd ever leave the cia. but because of trump, i quit." price calls trump's actions
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disturbing. he writes the final straw was watching the national security council be reorganized to demote and give the trump's chief strategist and former breitbart leader steven bannon a full seat on the principals committee. this is price. >> is this administration decides to go with alone and to , i, intelligence be damned think there's a consequence of escalation on any number of fronts. an escalation that has the potential to put lives at risk. amy: price was concerned about the demoting of the general and the elevating of the former breitbart news chief steve bannon. the u.s. supreme court began hearing arguments tuesday in the case of them 15-year-old mexican teenager who was shot dead by a u.s. border patrol agent who shot across the border in 2010 and whether the boy's parents have the right to sue in u.s. courts. even though the bullet struck the boy in mexico.
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the teenager sergio adrian hernandez guereca was playing with his friends on the mexican side of the border that separates el paso, texas, from ciudad juarez, mexico, when border patrol agent jesus mesa fired across the border into mexico, killing hernandez. the supreme court justices appear to be split, meaning the court may hold onto the case and reschedule a new hearing after a ninth justice is confirmed. the ruling could impact at least some of the six other cases where u.s. agents have killed mexican citizens by shooting across the border. in international news, palestinians have expressed outrage at the short sentence given to an israeli soldier caught on tape executing a wounded palestinian man. on tuesday, a military panel sentenced israeli sergeant elor azaria to 18 months in prison and a demotion in rank. video of the killing last march shows palestinian abdel fattah al-sharif lying immobilized on the ground as azaria fires a single shot into the man's head
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at close range. the killing took place in hebron, in the israeli-occupied west bank. the father of al-sharif said -- "if someone is arrested for throwing a rock, they get a two-year sentence. in this case, a soldier murdered and got a year and a half." this is wasel abu yousef of the palestine liberation organization. >> today's sentencing for the murder of the martyr who was murdered by one of the occupations fascist soldiers come a murder that was filmed and broadcast on most of the world satellite channels, this deliberate murder of a wounded person who was not able to move and was shot in the head and killed in cold blood, today, a fake court decided to hand down a light sentence to the soldier, ich illustrates a disrespect of palestinian lives and international laws. amy: a british muslim schoolteacher is speaking out after he says he was denied entry to the united states during a school trip last week
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, even though trump's travel ban had been suspended and the teacher is a british citizen who was born in wales. juhel miah says he was removed from the plane at reykjavik on february 16. >> i was in shock. i could not believe what was happening. it hit me the hardest when i all ofck and i can see the kids and the members of the staff. if you like everyone else on the plane was looking at me. -- it felt like everyone us on the plan was looking at me. i felt powerless. i felt targeted. there was nothing i could do. amy: he was taken away even though he was escorting all of his students onto the plane. back in the united states, a federal judge has blocked texas from defunding planned parenthood. judge sam sparks issued an injunction in favor of the women's health care organization after texas tried
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to cut off medicaid funding for non-abortion services to planned parenthood. texas had falsely and unsuccessfully accused planned parenthood of selling fetal tissue, drawing on heavily edited and widely discredited anti-choice videos as evidence. the ruling makes texas the sixth state where courts have blocked efforts to defund planned parenthood at the state level. and while white nationalist milo yiannopoulos has resigned from breitbart amidst widespread outrage over his comments, appearing to endorse pedophilia. on tuesday, he announced his resignation at a news conference here in new york city. >> my employer breitbart news has stood by me while others have caved. to carry outed me -- i'm grateful for the freedom and the friendships i forged there. i would be wrong to allow my poor choice of words to detract from my colleagues choice of
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words. that is why i'm resigning effective immediately. his resignation comes after simon & schuster canceled the publication of his book "dangerous" and the american conservative union rescinded an invitation to speak at the conference.ual cpac arbitrary and oppressive consent which totally -- understanding that many of us have the complexities and complicated nature of many relationships, some of the most important, enriching, and incredibly life-affirming, important shaping relationships very often between that younger boys and older man -- they can be hugely positive experiences for those young boys. a makeup malia novelist has faced opposition led by women of color transgender activist over his history of making racist, sexist, and xena phobic
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statements. at the university of wisconsin, milwaukee, he outed and mocked a transgender student showing her name and photo on-screen in december. best selling author roxanne gay who canceled her book deal in january with simon & schuster and protest of its now canceled deal with malia novelist, wrote -- she said she was still not publish her upcoming book with simon & schuster saying the publisher "should never have enabled milo in the first place." and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the white house is moving to greatly expand the department of homeland security's authority to deport millions of undocumented immigrants and to increase the number of immigration, border patrol agents by 15,000. under rules issued on tuesday, almost any undocumented person in the country could be detained and deported even if they have never committed a crime.
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a traffic violation or mere suspicion of committing a crime could now be grounds for deportation. any immigrant who cannot prove they have been in the united states for over two years could be deported without a hearing. anyone migrant regardless of their nationality who crosses the southern border will be deported to mexico while they await deportation hearings. the memos also call for the prosecution of parents who seek to reunite their family by using smugglers to bring their children into the country. one of the memos states -- "with extremely limited exceptions, dhs will not exempt classes or categories of removal aliens from potential enforcement." one exception to that are the dreamers. according to the white house protections will remain in place for now for some immigrants who came to the united states as children without papers, as long as they do not commit any crimes. on tuesday, white house press secretary sean spicer said that
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the president wanted to take the shackles off the nation's immigration agents. >> the president needed to give guidance, especially after the when agentstration, had to figure out each individual whether or thought they fit in a particular category and they can adjudicate that case. the president wanted to take the shackles of individuals in these agencies and say, you have a mission, there are laws that need to be followed. you should do your mission and follow the law. amy: many immigrant rights activists fear the memos will lead to the creation of deportation force that president trump talked about while running for president. pres. trump: we're going to have a deportation force. >> how are you going to pay for this? pres. trump: they are going back where they came from. that is the way it is supposed to be. amy: that was donald trump being questioned by mika brzezinski in 2015 on msnbc.
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we are joined now by two guests. in ann arbor, michigan, is margo schlanger, professor at university of michigan law school. she served in the obama administration as the head of civil rights and civil liberties at the department of homeland security. and here in new york is cesar vargas, co-director of dream action coalition. he is new york state's first openly undocumented attorney. we welcome you both to democracy now! cesar, your response first to what has now been presented by the department of homeland security? >> foremost, we are seeing now a deportation force on steroids because the fact is that the deportation force was created with george bush, but also strengthened with president obama who reported more people than any president in american history. donald trump has really taken the keys of the deportation machine and refueled it and
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aggressively pursue and target every immigrant. when he talks about not all, just the bad ones, the rapists and criminals, well, he is not targeting just those violent criminals. he is targeting potentially parents, hard-working children, students, and veterans who he claims to be support of, a champion of veterans. he is now about to deport veterans and the families of these veterans. we are seeing donald trump taking the keys of an aggressive deportation machine that president obama created an taking it over 100 miles per hour. amy: can you, professor margo schlanger, talk about what you think are the critical guidelines here and what they mean for millions of immigrants in the united states? >> the problem is, there really are not guidelines with the president has done and wh dhs has confirmed is rendered basically every person
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it who is at a status a prospect for deportation. so it is everyone. if you read through what are supposed to be the priorities, they reach pretty much everybody. ont used to be the limits deportation, which was a combination of prioritization and capacity, the capacity of the system to process people, he has gotten rid of their prioritization and he is and thing up capacity in a different --amping up capacity in different ways. without any court process at all. he is asked a evening detention, massively, to put people in detention while they wait for the court process and he has talked about now, the word he uses is surging, the judicial capacity and immigration courts, which is these administrative courts. totty much we should expect see anybody who is not a dreamer
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is now subject to the possibility of deportation. in a deportation machinery -- it has not ramped up yet, but it is going to ramp up starting today. ,my: how does margo schlanger this differ from what happened under president obama? you worked for president obama. you worked at the department of homeland security. >> yeah. it is true that president obama inherited a kind of deportation capacity of about as many as 400,000 people a year and used that capacity for a number of years, although, in the last two or two, the numbers were down a lot. the difference was that the obama administration set up specific priorities and tried to focus on people who had done something wrong in addition to being here out of status -- as well as i should say very recent entrants, people who had only been here a few days. what this is doing is it is
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describing his recent entrance, people who have been here up to two years, which is a pretty long time, and is -- in a grid of the focus of the people who have done something wrong. and that of focusing, if you're doing speeding enforcement of people driving 95 miles power, now we're going after people going 56. amy: on monday, we spoke with franco ordonez, the mcclatchy reporter who first reported on the leaked dhs memos. we asked about how the policies we are seeing now may have been foreshadowed by a memo that the now sitting attorney general jeff sessions sent to the obama administration last year. >> i got a hold of this letter that you're referring to that jeff sessions wrote in july 2016. it basically outlines two of those most controversial points we were talking about earlier. jeff sessions in his letter 60% of dates who eventually
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in-depth meeting with their parents who are here with their parents illegally. he specifically question and secretary in and then attorney general loretta lynch why they were not being "humanely removed " from the country. he also pointed out that their parents were subject to prosecution. amy: that is the mcclatchy reporter who first reported on the leaked memo last year of sessions, who is now the attorney general. >> that is the alarming part of what we are seeing with this deportation force. managingump's style of has been always about, well, this is what i want, you execute it. what we're seeing now is many staffers that used to work for senator jeff sessions, representative bob goodlatte,
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who many of them have been immigration hawks, anti-immigrant policies, are now leading a lot of this execution. donald trump is just siding all dhshese executive orders or is signing this without realizing what is in those inks. all donald trump cares about is the show. he cares about the signing ceremony. he doesn't really care what is in those memos, particularly because now -- specifically, , takeseeing donald trump away a lot of protections that american families rely -- for example, i have many clients who are the sons and children are in the military, spouses, but now they are not going to be able to be protected because of the possible elimination of this program. we are seeing american families, military families, who are no longer going to be able to apply for this type of protection to
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change immigration status. amy: explain what you mean by military families. >> there's a policy of place that is discretionary that change immigration status. the u.s. government to say, ok, you're in this country without documentation. we are going to allow you to stay here, change your immigration to become a citizen because you are a spouse or children of a u.s. service member. amy: a servicemember could be in afghanistan and iraq? >> now we're seeing many of the service members, whether they're are marines, army, many of my clients say i'm more afraid of the u.s. government turned my family apart than the enemy abroad. that is the alarming part that donald trump cannot see. he is going to allow many of the underlings that work for senator jeff sessions and immigration -- into immigration groups leading the policy and donald trump is signing without looking at the papers. , what aboutargas you? you're a lawyer representing immigrants that are threatened,
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but you are so far threatened. >> i do have daca. i'm considered a treat her. for me, it is living in a very different climate is now my mom calls me, who is also undocumented, to make sure i'm ok. i call her to make sure she is ok. it is alarming to step a different climate of fear. we cannot let fear dictate what we're going to do. amy: when you say you give a rundown of her right to know what are you say if agents come knocking on your door? >> as i've been doing know your rights forms across the country, i give her a card that says, mom, you have a right to remain silent if an immigration agent comes to the door step do not open the door. tell them to give you the warrant and just say, you know, give them my number. amy: will do have a warrant? >> she doesn't know. she doesn't speak english. she calls me all the time to make sure i'm ok.
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this is the type of atmosphere where people without criminal records or minor criminal violations are afraid and in panic. amy: what about the issue of suspected crimes? i mean, if you're charged with a crime, that is not convicted, that is included. of course, if you're convicted. even if you're suspected of a crime. worse thantually that because it is not just suspected of a crime. there is also a piece of the prioritization which says if you misled any federal agencies about anything, which means if au have then working and used fake social security number or anything like that, you're probably almost certainly you are within the prioritization. it is pretty much everybody. this is the end of prioritization. that is what we are watching. the only priorities that are
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, and even threatened then they are threatened, but the only once were not asked easily threatened with a memo are the dreamers. everyone else is in the sides of the deportation machine at this point. amy: daniel ramirez, the dreamer, the young man, 23 years washington daca in state, he was imprisoned. >> that's right. the administration says if somebody does something bad, commits a crime or member of a gay, they're retaining the right to pull daca away. they say that is true for mr. ramirez. his lawyers say that is completely false. they're having that i give it a federal court right now. argumente having that in front of the federal court right now. amy: the memos explicitly state immigrants protected under president obama's program daca,
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as you said, deferred action for childhood arrivals, are exempt, but the new dhs documents come on the heels of this arrest of daniel ramirez. . want to turn to a comment we would to washington state just be to people there. his arrest alarmed immigrant communities who still fear the trump administration might target other daca recipients. >> if he knew us had any doubt that the truck machine has degraded open season on all immigrants in this country, that doubt should have evaporated by now. with daniel's arrest, we have seen the federal government break its promise and shown it cannot be trusted. amy: cesar vargas? in agent seeing enforcing a broken immigration that is, it is not able
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to differentiate between someone who has been living here for many years, contributing to the economy, paying taxes, and someone who is a murderer. i think that is the alarming part that we are's being. daniel's arrest. it is not just the violent criminals, it is the artificial creation of the good immigrant versus the that immigrant that is entangling everyone. amy: you also have a situation where they say they're going to take all of these immigrants and they're going to deport them to mexico, whether they are from guatemala, honduras, el salvador. does this mean refugee camps? deportation camps in mexico? right now you have tillerson and who is going to meet with pena nieto. trump could not meet with the mexican president, who canceled his meeting with trump. margo schlanger, if you could
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respond? >> we will see what happens with that plan. mexico would have to agree to take all of these people who are not from mexico, who passed through mexico to get to the united states. i do not understand why that would agree to that. but suppose it did happen. it is an appalling idea. the point of it immigration proceeding, the point of doing that in front of an immigration judge is that some people have a claim to be here. we have complicated laws where they are entitled to due process and assert that claim and have it fairly adjudicated. if we first to porch, then hold a hearing, it is a farce. -- if we first to porch, then hold a hearing, it is a farce. it is laughable. what we're doing is giving up, substituting a pretense of due process for the real thing, even if mexico agrees to take these people. and i do not see one mexico would agree to that.
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2014, calling obama obama the deporter-in-chief. president hass been the deporter-in-chief. any day now -- any day now, this administration will reach the 2 million mark for deportations. it is a staggering number that far outstrips any of his predecessors and leaves behind at a wake of devastation for families across america. the president says his administration does not have the authority to act on its own. all we hear is no. no from congress. no from the administration. but here is the thing. we won't take no for an answer. amy: that is the head of the za,ional council of laras calling president obama the
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nation's deporter-in-chief. professor, recent mcclatchy piece was headlined -- for president obama. what were your thoughts at the time and do you feel that is a fair characterization? i think president obama tried very hard to get congress to sign off on comprehensive immigration reform. that was a failed effort. they would became clear that that was failing, he implemented daca. i think daca has been a good step forward. he implemented a set of practices to prioritize immigrants who were both -- people who are very recent entrants, who were caught right at the border, and people who had committed criminal offenses. i think those were appropriate baby steps. i think what is needed is a comprehensive immigration
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reform. i think president obama operated within a really constrained environment and it's a really good things in it. what president trump is doing is taking all of -- all of the apparatus that was built and funded and insisted on by congress and he is ramping it up. you've heard it your self from spicer. he is un-shocking the discretion unshackling the line officers. that is a responsibility -- it is an appalling way of running an immigration. amy: cesar vargas? >> as much as we blame right now and are concerned with what donald is doing, the reality is that politics was a critical calculation. the reality is, president obama did the port more people than any american president. also, president obama was reluctant to take action on daca
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. one thing we're seeing for me, frankly, we had a president that we had a push for years. we were deeply involved in the fort to push for daca, stopping deportations. it was the white house who was reluctant to protect many families. now we're thing donald trump in his first month taking action to complete everything that he said. i think it is not about placing blame on president obama, but holding accountable democrats. at the end, this is what 2016 was all about. it was about the democratic party led by president obama who failed to listen to what the concerns of the american people and people -- the real culprit --e are not the immigrant american people. the real culprits are congress, republicans and democrats, who failed to pass immigration reform, to take action protecting families, to take action protecting the families and to really ramp up the economy.
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we saw literally a president who played politics, both parties, and now we have a president, donald trump, who is simply doing whatever he feels like. i don't think that is how you govern this nation. it is holding accountable democrats and republicans because both of them must take responsibly for broken immigration system. now we're going to see the results play out badly. amy: at one of the many massive protest that have taken place, this one a battery park as people, thousands marched to federal plaza and the one of the people was holding up a sign that said "france called: they want their statue back." i want to thank margo schlanger for joining us, professor of law to university of michigan law school, and cesar vargas, thank you for being with us co-director of dream action , coalition and new york state's first openly undocumented attorney. that does it for this sacrament. when we come back, we go to montgomery, alabama, and to the
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anne frank center here in new york. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. 11 jewish community centers across the country were hit by another wave of bomb threats on monday. it was the fourth wave of nationwide bomb threats against jcc's in the last five weeks. in total, 69 threats have been reported against 54 jcc's. meanwhile, at a cemetery in university city, missouri, the gravesites of more than 100 jews were vandalized over the weekend. the southern poverty law center has revealed the number of anti-muslim groups in the united
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stat tripled last year from 34 in 2015 to 101 last year. the southern poverty law center and other groups have said hate groups have been energized by the candidacy and then election of donald trump. in recent weeks, trump has faced increasing criticism for failing to denounce anti-semitic and anti-muslim threats. well, on tuesday, trump briefly addressed the recent wave of anti-semitic threats. after tremendous public outcry that he had not. his comments came after he toured the national museum of african american history and culture in washington, d.c. pres. trump: the anti-semitic threats targeting our jewish centersy and community are horrible and are painful and a very sad reminder of the work that still must be done to root out hate and prejudice and evil. amy: president trump's reading
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of that statement came less than a week after he chastised jewish reporter jake turx for asking about the recent bomb threats. >> what we are concerned about and what we have not really heard addressed yet an uptick in anti-summit is a and how the government is planning to take care of it. -- therebeen a report has been report of bomb threats made against jewish centers in the last couple of weeks. their people committing anti-semitic acts are threatening -- pres. trump: he said he was going to ask a simple, easy question. and it is not. it is not a simple question, not a fair question. sit down. i understand the rest of your question. here's the story. number one, i am the least anti-somatic person you have ever seen in your entire life. number two, racism. person.t racist
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in fact, we did very well relative to other people running as republican -- quiet. quiet. quite. simple he was good ask a question. welcome to the world of the media. amy: during a separate news conference only days earlier, when he was standing with the israeli prime minister benjamin netanyahu, president trump responded to a question from an israeli reporter about the rise and anti-somatic attacks by boasting about his election victory. well, for more, we're joined now by two guests. steven goldstein, the executive director of the anne frank center for mutual respect. the group posted a statement on facebook, "mr. president, you're too little, too late." and in montgomery, alabama, we're joined by mark potok, senior fellow at the southern poverty law center. he authored the group's year-end report, "hate groups increase for second consecutive year as trump electrifies radical right."
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steven goldstein and mark potok, welcome to democracy now! steven, let's begin with you. you just for that same he read of the african american museum. your response? >> i thought the president lost it. his response was remarkable for its -- this president said absolutely nothing over the weekend when jewish grave sites were desecrated. he said absolutely nothing about him threats. he refused even to include jews and the holocaust. amy: you mean the world holocaust day, he did not cite jews. >> astonishing. and all of a sudden, he wakes up on a tuesday, decides to give a speech, which, by the way, he read with all of the sincerity of it a bad method actor. this is a president who really knows how to speak with passion when he wants to. he expected our applause simply because he acknowledges anti-semitism. i have to ask him a are our
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nation's expectations so low that our president merely by acknowledging anti-semitism, something other presidents of different decades, should receive some applause? and worse yet, his spokesperson, sean spicer, chastised my organization for not applauding and be grateful for the remarks.'s it is unbelievable. remarkable prejudice coming from this administration. amy: i want to see if we have this clip of the reporter who asked the question yesterday. this is cbs news foreign affairs and white house correspondent margaret brennan questioning white house spokesperson sean spicer. give you a chance to respond to something i think the president remarks and clear
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vocational or he stands on anti-semitism is clear, but after that same [indiscernible] anne frank lisa pretty strongly worded one saying these remarks band-aid on the cancer of the administration saying there is, whether lessor otherwise, a sense of xenophobia within the administration. >> look, the president has made clear since the day he was elected, frankie, going back to the campaign, he is into unite this country. he is brought a diverse group of folks into is a administration, both in terms of actual positions and people he has sought the advice of. i think he has been very forceful with his denunciation of people who seek to attack people because of their hate, excuse me, because of the religion, because of their gender, because of the color of their skin.
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it is something that he has made clear has no place in this administration. it is ironic that no matter how many times he talks about this, it is never good enough. today, i think was not believable he forceful comments by the president as far as his denunciation of the actions that are currently targeted towards jewish community centers. i think he has been very clear previous to this that he wants to be someone who brings this country together and not divide people, especially in those areas. i saw that statement. i wish they had praised the president for his leadership in this area. i think, hopefully, as time goes by, they recognize his commitment to civil rights, to voting rights, to equality for all americans. amy: that was sean spicer at his white house press briefing. steven goldstein? >> that was insane. sean spicer is living in a parallel universe.
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are we supposed to salute this president? as far as the words of the president being good enough, who said that that our words should be good enough? simply cannot relate to anyone who looks like themselves. as far as this president repeatedly calling out anti-semitism, let alone islamophobia, racism, sexism, he never speaks about it. i don't know what script sean spicer is reading from, but it is not reality. amy: also yesterday, our other guest's organization was raised with a cbs news foreign affairs and white house correspondent margaret brennan also questioned spicer on tuesday. >> the southern poverty law center says the number of anti-muslim groups in the u.s. has tripled between 2015 and 2016 during the time of the campaign. is this message within the [indiscernible]
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as the president been forceful about that particular issue? >> i think the president in terms of his desire to conduct radical terrorism, he understands people who want to havess a peaceful position every right in our constitution. but if you come here or want to express the views that seek to do our country, our people harm, he is going to fight it aggressively whether it is domestic ask going on here or attempts through people abroad to come into this country. there's a difference between preventing attacks and making sure we keep this country safe so that there is no loss of life and allowing people to express themselves in accordance with our first amendment. those are two very different things. amy: that was sean spicer. mark potok is with us at the southern poverty law center,'s aching to us from montgomery, alabama. -- speaking to us from a gallery, alabama. your response? >> these comments from spicer, from trump, or ludicrous in the extreme.
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i agree they both seem to be living in another universe. let's get real about trump. he is the divider in chief. this is a guy who begin his campaign describing mexican immigrants as rapists and drug dealers. he is gone on to denounce just about every minority out there. it hasit has been an extraordiny thing to watch. i think what has happened with trump is that when he finally gets backed into a corner by reporters or other people, you know, he kind of says a few words, as was said by the other guest just now, with incredible insincerity about how terrible this anti-semitism is an islamophobia as so on. the truth is, donald trump has played footsie with the radical right from the very start of his campaign. he has studiously avoided denouncing or disavowing the extreme right again and again.
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let's remember how trump claimed not to know who david duke, the leader is, therefore he cannot disavow him. that was a falsehood, a lie to speak plainly. he knew perfectly well who duke was. in 2000, trump wrote an essay in "the new york times" saying why he was dropping his bid for the presidency on the reform party ticket because duke was associated with reform party and trump could not have anything to do with it. this is all a word game with an awful lot of falsehoods spring around. amy: when we come back from break, i want to ask you about .hat you wrote we're speaking with mark potok of the southern poverty law center as well as steven goldstein of the anne frank center here in new york. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: that music that you just -- d this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. we continue with steven goldstein of anne frank center and mark potok the southern poverty law center. what you wrote, mark, the radical right more successful than entering clinical mainstream last two than in half
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a century. explain and expand the findings of your report. >> even more than half a century. half a century ago, george wallace made a run for the presidency in 1968 and it seemed, at least, unimaginable the radical right would enter the mainstream. but it didn't. he lost the election and things have gone and the other direction for most of the last 50 years. basically, what we found in the report was that, for the second straight year, the number of hate groups went up. it more important in the actual numbers, which actually are near historic highs and some 30 years of accounting that we have done, is the fact these groups are just electrified by trump. they feel they have a man and the white house. they feel they have been given permission to say the things they really believe, that these are legitimate and normalized views. so really, i think the effect of
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donald trump been to unleash a hatred pandora's box of on our country. and those are not easy things to get back in the box. found, thehing we other really remarkable thing, which you mentioned already, was the near tripling in the number of anti-muslim hate groups. i think this is not 100% due to donald trump. certainly, part of it is response to real life atrocities from the islamic state and related kinds of groups. but a huge part of it is due to trump. trump really unleashed this with his comments about muslims not being good enough to be in our country, with his proposal for a muslim registry, with his idea of surveilling mosques and on and on and on. that essentially was our finding . the radical right has come alive as a result of trump. nevernever felt, in fact, been in anyone's memory, so close to real power.
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they're in a position right now to actually have an effect a national policy. remarkable thing. amy: deeply moving story out of missouri the jewish cemetery, perhaps hundreds of tombstones, groupp ended and a muslim went online to raise money to help the jewish community restore these tombstones. they raced, i think at this point, over $50,000 and said they would contribute this that only to help the cemetery, but other -- now over $60,000. it has been going up by leaps and bounds. with the help jewish groups around the country that are facing us all. >> amy, that is the real america. that is what muslim americans are like, jewish americans are like him all other americans are like. people with essential goodness whom this president should not demonized. people who have greater morals
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and the president himself has ever had. amy: i want to go to some other news. on tuesday, will you not was -- milo yiannopoulos resigned from breitbart. he was asked about steve bannon formerly the head of breitbart. >> what is your relationship with steve bannon? >> steve bannon brought me into breitbart. he is one of the most formidable and political operatives of his generation. i have nothing but admiration for the guy. not an easy guy to work for if you are a slacker, not easy to work for if you don't show up to work or give it your all. fortunately, i'm not one of those people. i've not spoken him for a very long times. >> [indiscernible] >> steve bannon has populated breitbart with a disproportionately jewish ethnic minority and gai gay senior editorial.
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we are more diverse than any of the people criticizing breitbart for alleged racism or god knows what it is today. amy: that was milo you not bliss, who is just resigned from breitbart under allegations he supported pedophilia. mark potok, the significance of breitbart now represented in the white house come although, steve bannon supposedly left breitbart for the time being. >> steve bannon is the person the extreme right feels is their man in the white house and they are not wrong. as far as the milo yiannopoulos escapade, i think it shows that much like donald trump hymns now , he was a bit of an unexploded grenade. this was bound to happen. this is the man who was "politically incorrect" that he is willing to say things -- forget political correctness, that are outrageous and really awful.
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we have seen what happened with milo yiannopoulos. he basically imploded. he is lost his book contract and lost his work. hopefully, we will not have to hear too much more about him. unfortunately, that is not the case with donald trump. he is the same kind of character , this sort of explosive character. you don't know what is coming next. one thing that is certain, though, donald trump is certainly not the uniter in chief as he claims. he is quite the opposite. amy: steven goldstein, if you could talk about the story of anne frank in terms of immigration to the united states. >> here is what is so frightening. anne frank was denied immigration at least twice . her father,otto frank appeal to the roosevelt administration. amy: fdr. >> yes, roughly between
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1939-1941. he was a fairly well-connected man. he was intelligent man with friends in high places. he was able to get communications very high up in the roosevelt administration saying, please, say myit did no. fdr refused refugee anne frank. for those of us in the jewish community and those who are not jewish but who simply care about never again repeating what happened to anne frank, when we look at the muslim ban and we look at syrian refugees, we say, let us save every future anne frank that we did not save decades ago. and whether this kind of evil prejudice against refugees was by roosevelt or on theit is a blot american conscious.
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to stem with all refugees to help them come into this nation. amy: a texas mosque was just burned to the ground, mark potok , and the jewish synagogue said our building is big enough for both and handed the keys or of their synagogue to the muslims in the community. your final comment? what do you think, mark potok, president trump could do to show he is serious about stopping these hate groups? >> i think he can't do much because the fact is that he is not serious about stopping them. the reality is, he has stood by and said nothing while not merely one, but three different mosques were burned to the ground in the month of january alone. that is the really remarkable thing. i think that we are put in the position -- amy: three seconds. >> of building intercommunal ties between jews
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